The ruble weakened for a third day on bets a Finance Ministry plan to replenish one of Russia’s wealth funds will blunt central bank steps to slow the local currency’s fall.
The ruble lost 0.5 percent to 41.6355 against Bank Rossii’s target basket of dollars and euros by 11:54 a.m. in Moscow. The yield on the government’s bonds due February 2027 rose six basis points, or 0.06 percentage point, to 8.38 percent.
The ministry will buy foreign currency equivalent to 3.5 billion rubles ($98 million) daily from Feb. 20 through May from the central bank, which will decrease its interventions by the same amount, the ministry said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. It will also transfer a total of 212.2 billion rubles in foreign currencies into its Reserve Fund in the period. The decision will have no impact on the ruble and the transactions will improve liquidity in the banking industry, Deputy Finance Minister Alexey Moiseev said.
“With the Finance Ministry purchases the volume of daily interventions by the central bank is effectively reduced,” Anton Zakharov, an analyst at OAO Promsvyazbank in Moscow, said by phone. “This has had an effect” on the ruble, he said.
The Russian currency weakened 0.6 percent against the dollar to 35.6330 and lost 0.5 percent to 49.0310 per euro. The ruble has depreciated 7.8 percent against the greenback this year, the second-worst performance among 24 emerging-markets currencies tracked by Bloomberg.
The Finance Ministry plans to auction today 10 billion rubles of January 2028 bonds and 10 billion rubles of May 2020 securities, it said in a website statement yesterday. The yield on the longer-maturity bonds increased seven basis points, or 0.07 percentage point, today to 8.51 percent, the highest this month.
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